12 Jul Four Ways Technology Helps You Overcome the Labor Shortage
For many, the process of adding new and temporary employees consistently ranks high among the priorities and concerns voiced by warehouse management. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re in the same boat as many other organizations struggling to fill warehouse worker positions.
Today we’ll examine four ways that voice automation technology can help your organization overcome the lingering labor shortage.
Improve Efficiency with Voice Automation
Voice automation consistently helps warehouses operate 30 percent more efficiently and provides picking accuracy exceeding 99.99 percent. Voice technology is proven to optimize workflows and employee performance for all distribution center functions.
For Voxware customer Anacapri Foods, the switch to voice automation helped them achieve their objectives. With growing order volumes at its 130,000-square-foot DC in Cranford, N.J., the company was looking for a way to automate and speed up order picking.
For more than 45 years, Anacapri Foods has distributed a complete line of brand-name products, today reaching more than 1,800 pizza shops and fine Italian restaurants in the Northeast. To serve these businesses, the DC’s outbound shipments average between 12,000 and 15,000 boxes per day.
In addition to reducing errors, Anacapri noticed a steady increase in productivity. In fact, the company reported a 20 percent increase in volume without the need to hire a single new employee. As their CEO shared, “With Voxware, the assignments keep coming into the ear of our pickers, so that helps them remain productive.”
Eliminate Voice Training and Fasttrack Onboarding
For companies who are adding full-time employees or working with agencies to staff temporary workers, training becomes paramount. It’s imperative to have the new workers onboarded and up-to-speed as quickly as possible.
With VoxTempo, Voxware’s Natural Language Voice Recognition engine, training time can be completed in minutes, so new workers can strap on a headset and immediately begin issuing commands which the system will recognize, register and provide a response.
For Frontier Distributing, VoxTempo delivered immediate results.
Frontier Distributing is a mid-sized pet food and pet supplies distributor who serves nearly 700 Pet Specialty Retailers in the Midwest from its 100,000 square feet distribution center in Oxford, Michigan. For more than three years, Frontier has relied on Voxware’s software to optimize their warehouse workers.
As Jacob Smith, General Manager of Frontier points out, “With VoxTempo, we were able to get our employees productively working the very first day on the job. I believe that everyone wants to be productive and working and VoxTempo enables our workers to do that instantly.”
Manage Your Operations with Supply Chain Analytics
Companies can no longer run their distribution centers as they traditionally have. They must continuously look ahead and adjust. Supply chain analytics are particularly adept at helping distribution center operations react to changing conditions quickly and adjust staffing as necessary.
Many companies require supply chain analytics solutions that aggregate and analyze internal and external data sources and present real-time and historical information, predict future events and help users navigate the right course of action to immediately resolve problems that may surface.
According to supply chain expert Sandy McKay, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. I’m a firm believer in that.”
At Haggar Clothing Co., McKay leveraged VoxPilot, Voxware’s supply chain analytics solution to help deliver a seamless customer experience.
“We use VoxPilot to distribute work more evenly throughout our distribution center. We have screens hung at the end of aisles so item pickers can easily track their assignments and see how productive they are being throughout the day,” he said.
“Dynamic fulfillment requires a discipline around people, processes, technology and data. The sheer number of moving parts require organizations to use systems that can look ahead – if tariffs are changing, container charges are going up or down, raw material costs going up or down, incoming weather patterns and so on – to provide actionable information, adjustment to consumer shopping patterns and keep the supply chain moving for wholesale and eCom,” according to McKay.
“This will be a challenge for the companies who continue to run their distribution centers as they have traditionally rather than looking ahead and making adjustments,” he concluded.
Increase Employee Satisfaction
In addition to the ongoing labor shortage, warehouses also face fierce competition between each other as it relates to hourly rates. Deploying cutting-edge technology that helps improve how workers perform has become a factor in finding and retaining talent.
The form-factor of today’s mobile devices being deployed in some distribution centers are similar to the devices that are used in everyday life. This helps workers become familiarized more quickly with the technology so they can be productive even faster.
Have you put your operation in the best position to succeed and meet demand effectively, despite challenges around finding new employees? If there are areas that require attention, now is the time to address them.
Contact Voxware today for a no-pressure consultation to learn how we can help.